Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton hits Netflix on November 17th.
Nobody would realize this now, but in the 1990s, Jim Carrey was the most famous comedic actor alive. He starred in popular films like Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, Batman Forever, The Mask, and Liar Liar. At the tail end of the decade, Carrey began journeying into dramatic works like The Truman Show, which he won a Golden Globe for. Then, in 1999, he won the Golden Globe again for his fantastic performance as comedian Andy Kaufman in the biopic Man on the Moon.
The movie shows Kaufman dealing with women, getting in fights on late-night TV, and agonizing people as his alter ego Tony Clifton. (Kaufman was so well-known for such antics that some fans are convinced he never truly died in 1984 and is still plotting his comeback.) Man on the Moon received critical acclaim at the time, but you might think it’s strange that Netflix is making a documentary about Carrey’s portrayal eighteen years later. The reason is because of the extraordinary transformation Carrey underwent to play Kaufman. See, Jim Carrey didn’t just play Andy Kaufman – Jim Carrey became Andy Kaufman.
Method acting is somewhat common now. It’s when an actor completely immerses themselves in a character, and continues to be the character even when the cameras stop rolling. Daniel Day-Lewis is known to use this method, and Jared Leto made plenty of headlines with his Joker antics on the set of Suicide Squad. In the documentary Jim & Andy, viewers can see Carrey be completely absorbed in the role 24 hours a day. In fact, behind the scenes footage from Man on the Moon was never released, because of the fear that Carrey’s behavior would negatively affect how audiences perceived him. Suffice it to say enough time has passed for the world to see the antics. And with Carrey lately known for his bizarre interviews where he ponders the meaning of existence, I can’t say Jim & Andy will change anyone’s opinion of him.
Kaufman and Carrey fans will definitely enjoy this, but any self-respecting cinephile will make sure to add Jim & Andy to their Netflix list.